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C12th Dress project from fleece to garment

Posted: Tue Aug 02, 2005 8:45 am
by Kate Tiler
This is a website and series of pages documenting the making of a Regia C12th handspun, handwoven dress - very well laid out and a worthy documentation for the project:

Including the use of madder and a weld style plant to dye the thread, shows the weaving pattern and the dress pattern.

Well worth a look :)

Posted: Tue Aug 02, 2005 8:53 am
by Kate Tiler
While I'm on the subject:

A great article comparing the yoof of today with the typical anglo-saxon...

(Have you guessed what period I'm researching yet?)

Posted: Tue Aug 02, 2005 9:15 am
by Jenn R
Kate what a wonderful article! Thanks for putting it up!

I enjoyed reading it even though it wasn't my era. Some of the techniques would have been the same for medieval times.

I'm glad that the boy got his finger armour sorted!

Posted: Tue Aug 02, 2005 1:00 pm
by Wiblick
it's a great dress isn't it?

I'm fairly happy with what I have for Hastings next year, just need to get suitable trim and a apair of shoes, who should I be buying them from?

Oh and a bag, I need a bag... there's been talk on the Hastings list about shoulder bags etc. but I've yet to see an image or find a supplier.

and can I just mention I hate wimples, oh and how do people feel about coloured ones?


Posted: Tue Aug 02, 2005 8:02 pm
by GinaB
Thanks for that Kate - I thought the colour was really lovely...

Wiblick - what sort of bag are you looking for? My interest is mainly 15c but I do have the odd picture of purses from earlier and later periods, I may be able to help. Can't promise but willing to look.

I love wimples! I think they are very flattering - better than blusher... :wink: , if annoying to wear! Loved being a White Co nun as we could wear them for 15c


Posted: Tue Aug 02, 2005 11:56 pm
by Dingo8MyBaby
Kate: Yes it’s a very good article; however the lady made an unfortunate mistake in the dress design. The constricted section under the arm in the dress is not a panel, but an area of lacing that aided the fitting on the dress. Besides that it’s a fantastic end product.

Wiblick: RE: shoes. Morgan Hubbard does really nice shoes for the period, you can also try Kevin Garlick and a multitude of other shoe makers. You’ll require a turn shoe, not and form of boot that goes above the ankle boot if being Saxon and only just above the ankle bone if being a mounted Norman.

Shoulder bags are a POP to make. Get a piece of cloth and fold the bottom third into length of cloth. Sew up both sides to form the pocket of the bag. Turn the bag inside out and fold the top third over the pocket part of the bag and fix by punching two holes and a leather tie through, or make a hole and use a horn toggle. Add a braid/cloth shoulder strap and away you go. You can also make them from leather, or heavy linen. Avoid canvas as they look too much like ECWS/Napoleonic bags etc.

Why do you need a bag though? They are a pain in the neck when your fighting and the field is a bit on the large side for leaving kit laying about.

Posted: Wed Aug 03, 2005 8:36 am
by Wiblick
Thanks for the info Dingo, I won't be fighting so I'll be holding the keys & wallet for the day hence the need for the bag. Gina I was specifically thinking of pouches for 1066.

How is the lacing attached/achieved, do we think it is just a set of parallel couched holes in the body of the dress which are then drawn together? Like a shoe?

I always get my shoes from Kevin Garlick so perhaps I'll stick with him for Hastings.

Gina! Wimples! what construction do you use and how do you get it all to stay on, do you use a hood like piece and a veil or just wrap a great swathe in a horribly complicated manner, what do you pin it all to?


Posted: Wed Aug 03, 2005 10:11 am
by Dingo8MyBaby
That part of a dress would have the front and back with a panel down the middle. Into the seams are sewn small loops of cloth which are the points for the lacing. This fits the dress. I should point out that this is very much a Norman style of dress and unfortunately there were no Norman women present at the battle. A Saxon one is similar, but the panel starts in the armpit and expands continuously all the way to the hem.

Pouches are allowable for the period – hang on a bit – however most that are worn are wrong. 99.99% of the belt pouches are wrong, the kidney shaped ones are ok in very limited numbers for the Vikings, the square ‘baccy tin’ shaped ones are very wrong. All evolved from the need of somewhere to keep car keys and later on mobile phones! You can have small draw-string pouches, ala a small purse, however it should be tied to an under belt and kept out of site. When I do Hastings I put my car key on a leather thong around my neck as I am far less likely to lose that than a small (hard to find) pouch.

A small shoulder bag fixes this problem and at the 2000 event one of our female members ended up with about 30 car keys in hers!

Posted: Wed Aug 03, 2005 7:44 pm
by GinaB
Well, I've looked through my notes, and the earliest I currently have are from the 12/13c. (I'll happily post up if these may be of help) I too was going to suggest a simple drawstring purse however - this really is a timeless style, and found throughout the medieval period (and beyond!).

Making it 'right' will come down to detail. As Dingo8 has said that these aren't seen for women (the same holds true for the 15c if a gown is worn over the kirtle), then you can opt for something very simple without any worry. A 'play-safe' decoration for most periods is the tassel, usually with a turk's head knot if you are feeling ambitious! During the 15c these would have had fairly longish strings to attach to the belt so that the gown doesn't have to be lifted too high to get to the purse - would this be the same for 1066?
A small shoulder bag fixes this problem and at the 2000 event one of our female members ended up with about 30 car keys in hers!
Perfect reason for having a small purse I think! Its bad enough having to carry men's keys in a modern handbag... (why DO men carry so many keys?) :wink:

Wimples - The White Co nuns simply wore a linen headband, (worn around the forehead and tied at the nape of the neck) and pinned a rectangular piece of linen to this at the top of the head. This has to be worn quite tightly to retain its shape. The veils were then pinned over this, hiding any 'gap' at the back.

Taking this a little further, if the rectangular piece is cut on the bias, it 'hugs' the face better, and gives a little with movement - much easier to wear!

A next step on is to then sew this rectangular piece up at the back, fitting it to the head like a coif or hat. I haven't personally done this, but my mother did some years back - it worked very well.

Posted: Wed Aug 03, 2005 8:46 pm
by Lady Cecily
Thanks for the GOC article - thouroughly enjoyed it.

I've been in the Vike for years and have more than one Anglo-Saxon dress. All this talk of new frocks for Hastings 06 almost makes me want to make a new one - although I suspect I'll be behind a registration counter most of the time.

Posted: Thu Aug 18, 2005 10:27 pm
by ada-anne
Thought I'd leap in here and de-lurk, because I see a confusion about wimples developing. To Viking/Saxon/early Norman folks, a wimple is the thing you cover your head with - usually one large piece of fabric swathed around, possibly with "foundation" items underneath to fix it to. To 15th century types, like Gina, a wimple is a specific part of a headdress, the piece of fabric that goes under your chin, and is normally worn with a separate veil. (Isn't costume terminology wonderful! I tend to use "headrail" for the early item, just to avoid confusion in my own head)

Gina, your instructions are great for 15th century but probably not what Wiblick is looking for. And I agree, nothing like a (C15) wimple to give you cheekbones :)

Wiblick, I wear a small cap which ties at the nape of the neck, pin the headrail at the front and above your ears, then just wrap the rest around my shoulders like a shawl. You can pin it on the shoulder and all the way through to your dress if it helps - but make sure you have enough slack to turn your head.


Posted: Wed Aug 31, 2005 12:51 pm
by Wiblick
ada-anne wrote: Wiblick, I wear a small cap which ties at the nape of the neck, pin the headrail at the front and above your ears, then just wrap the rest around my shoulders like a shawl. You can pin it on the shoulder and all the way through to your dress if it helps - but make sure you have enough slack to turn your head.
That's the jobbie! Thanks for that. Been away on holiday so just catching up now. Will paste this into my "notes for Hastings 2006", thanks!. Oh yay pins...


Posted: Thu Sep 01, 2005 9:57 pm
by GinaB
Ada-anne, thank you for 'de-lurking'! Its nice to have a clarification on that - I didn't realise the term was used for that - I too have used 'headrail'. (Now who came up with that term?)


Posted: Fri Sep 02, 2005 10:33 am
by Wiblick
I should have clarified and used "headrail" rather than wimple, but most sites refer to wimples with the concept of "headrail" buried somewhat.

Anyway ta muchly again.